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NEWS IN BRIEF

EUROPE

14 Jan 07. Iraq: OP TELIC. A Kingsman (i.e. Private) from 2nd Bn The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment died as a result of small arms fire in Basrah City on 13 Jan 07. (MoD, 14 Jan 07.) UK deaths since the start of hostilities thus rose to 129 (six from natural causes, 39 accidentally, six from friendly fire and 78 killed in action). From 1 Jan to 31 Dec 06, 93 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 709 were aeromedically evacuated from Iraq. (MoD, 15 Jan 07.) Those based at Basrah Air Station have access to improved leisure and communications facilities following the opening of a new welfare ‘village’. (MoD, 15 Jan 07.) Major General J D Shaw took over from Major General A R D Shirreff CBE as GOC Multinational Division (South East). (MoD, 15 Jan 07.)
A joint Iraqi-UK anti-smuggling Operation was conducted along the Shatt Al Arab waterway. (MoD, 16 Jan 07.) The standard period of Operational Duty for UK troops serving in Iraq is six months. (Ministerial Answer
(MA), 18 Jan 07.) The first batch of Bulldog vehicles (upgraded FV 430) is operational in Iraq and delivery should be complete by May 2007. (MA, 18 Jan 07.) Personnel from 1st Bn The Staffordshire Regiment have been working with the Iraqi Security Forces in targeting criminals in Basrah. (MoD, 19 Jan 07.)
Comment: The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) issued (16 Jan 07) its ninth bimonthly report on the human rights situation in the Country, stating that over 6,000 civilians had been killed in November and December 2006. Total civilian casualties for 2006 were calculated at over 34,000 dead and over 36,000 injured. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0704, 22 Jan 07)

14 Jan 07. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Marine from 42 Commando died as a result of small arms fire near Kajaki on 13 Jan 07. (MoD, 14 Jan 07.) A Lance Corporal from 45 Commando died following close quarter fighting South of Garmsir on 15 Jan 07. (MoD, 16 Jan 07.) UK deaths since the start of Operations in November 2001 thus rose to 46 (21 accidentally and 25 killed in action). From 1 Jan to 31 Dec 06, 85 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 263 were aeromedically evacuated from Afghanistan. (MoD, 15 Jan 07.) An initial batch of Vector vehicles should be delivered to Afghanistan by February 2007, with delivery complete by August 2007. (MA, 18 Jan 07.) 1 Squadron RAF is in the process of taking over from 800 NAS and is due to maintain the Harrier detachment until June 2007. It is anticipated that the upgraded Harrier GR9A will be deployed during 1 Squadron’s tour. (RAF News, 19 Jan 07.)
Comment: As described by the MoD (17 Jan 07) there is no doubt that members of 45 Commando and others displayed bravery during “a dramatic rescue attempt” on 13 Jan 07. However, commentators were mistaken in describing the Marines’ method of transport (on the outside of two Apache helicopters) as “new” or “novel”. Unorthodox, certainly, but similar techniques have been employed before. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0704, 22 Jan 07)

25 Jan 07. MoD dismisses Iraq policy ‘split’. The UK is planning a partial withdrawal of forces from Basra. The Ministry of Defence has dismissed claims of “tension” in relations between the UK and US over Iraq policy. It issued a response after the US ambassador to Iraq said Washington would prefer UK forces in the south to remain at their current levels. The UK is planning a partial withdrawal of forces from Basra this year while the US is increasing numbers in Iraq. The MoD said its plans were consistent with “long-term strategy” and the Iraqi desire for security responsibility. “There is no tension between US and UK objectives and activities in Iraq,” it said. We would like the British to co-ordinate and for us to have a joint plan. (Source: BBC)

19 Jan 07. Business should get the “clear message” that probes into corporate corruption will continue despite the controversial scrapping of a high profile investigation into BAE System

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